Optimising your Google places page

Google Plus Local Pages1 300x171 Optimising your Google places pageOne of the hardest things about writing a blog around this subject is what do we now call it as Google has combined & rebranded Google Places and Google+ Local as “Google My Business”!

Google places allows for a business or brand to manage or maintain their presence on Google by creating a page which contains all of the information of a business and their services or products. This allows Google to display this data within Google maps but also increase your rankings within local search results. Therefore, by modifying and optimising your page, you will become more relevant within search engine results to potential customers. Depending on the search result, this could get your listing to appear at the top of the first page search with a Google map showing your location, web address and contact number. So how do you optimise your page listing?

First of all, you need to make sure that you insert as much information as possible, including relevant information in the optional fields as well as the required fields will help improve your listing. While inserting this content, you need to make sure that it is all correct and matches that of any other web presence you have, for example – making sure you insert the full address and the same location that is displayed on your website. For details about the services or products that you provide, keywords are essential, using quality, relevant keywords will allow you to be found by potential customers. However, you must avoid misusing these keywords, overuse or ‘keyword stuffing’ could make your Google ranking go down drastically and prevent you from being found.

In addition to keyword rich content, Google also allows photos and videos to be uploaded. Inserting as many high quality, relevant pictures of your business, brand logo and products with quality captions will improve your listing while also increasing customer brand recognition.

Encourage your current and previous customers to review your business via the listing. Not only does this show new customers that you’re a reputable business but allows Google to know that you’re a serious, popular local business which will improve local rankings.

Inserting listings on other local directories using the same information as your Google places listing allows for Google to establish sources of data. The obvious benefits of this would be exposure on other sites but this will also help push your business on the first page search results. It’s important that you keep all of this information current and correct for all directories.

How To Use Twitter To Win New Business

People ask me all the time ‘Does Twitter really work?’ and ‘How can you use Twitter to get new business?’. Well the answer to the first question is a very definite yes and the best way to answer the second question is to tell you about a phone call I have just received which has to be one of the most impressive uses of Social Media I have seen.

Twitter you either love it or hate it

Twitter you either love it or hate it

Unfortunately yesterday our hosting company experienced some serious connectivity issues. I immediately went onto their Facebook page and left a comment and tweeted them and credit where credit is due they responded exceptionally quickly. Something that I hear said a lot is, ‘I don’t want to use Social Media because of the potential for negative feedback’ , to which I’ll always say that to err is human and as long as you don’t ignore the comments and respond in a timely, professional manner then people will see that you have high customer service levels and this will turn that potential negative into a positive.

Although I wasn’t overly impressed with their answer to my tweet the speed of the response especially considering they were in the midst of what I can only imagine must have been total mayhem put them in a positive light. But although this shows good use of Social Media this is not the scenario that impressed me most, but rather the phone call I have just received.

A few months ago a hosting company cold called me. I said I was very happy with my current provider and wasn’t interested in changing unless their service levels dropped but would keep their details on file. Then today the same company rang me up and said that they had seen a tweet from me yesterday about the problems I was experiencing and would now be a good time to go through the services they offer. Presumably they added my twitter account into a pospect list on twitter and then have a search on that list for any tweets with associated hosting keywords.

This is very simple to do and as you can imagine provides you with red hot leads. So if you are among the millions of people taking the scatter gun approach of shouting as loud as you can into the twittersphere to a group of people who are probably only following you in the hope that you follow them back then you should rethink your strategy and start to box clever. I have booked them in for a chat on Friday because not only is the timing right for the chat but they are obviously a company with an impressive grasp of innovative technologies and how to use them. (Update they haven’t tweeted me about this blog and didn’t ring me today – Friday!! But the moral of this tale still holds true.)

twitter boxing How To Use Twitter To Win New Business

Don't take the scatter gun approach - Box clever on Twitter

Now of course I will tweet this blog and I presume they will see it. So if you are watching Big Brother this doesn’t mean I will definitely move but I’m certainly open to listen to what you say and I’ll be waiting to see if you guys tweet me about this (don’t let me down!) and I also wonder if my current providers will pick up on it!?!

Now THAT is how you use Twitter to win new business.

If you want to find out more about Social Media and how you can use it to grow your Business then you can leave a message on our Facebook Page, send me a tweet, connect with me on linkedinemail uscontact us from the site or go proper old skool and ring us on 0115 896 7715.

Now THAT is what I call a call to action!

Google Pay Per Click Farce

For anyone who knows me personally they will be fully aware that I am not adverse to the odd rant about things now and again…. and again and again! I have never really ranted on this blog preferring to shout at inanimate objects,  but after having just had the most ridiculous conversation with someone at Google I felt the need to ‘sound off ‘ into cyberspace.

Coogle Kiss My AssI spoke to a customer recently who wanted to boost their trade a bit on the run up to Christmas so we agreed on a small Pay Per Click campaign. As they have not previously been involved in Google Adwords we agreed a course of action which was for us to set up the campaign and for the client to put £25 into the campaign and we would use one of our Google vouchers which would give them another £75 on top of this. We set up their account put the £25 on from their card and then put the voucher code in. When I looked at the billing screen it just  showed a balance of £25 and not the credit from the voucher but by past experience we know that these can take a few hours to show so I left it and checked again the next day.

When I checked the account again the campaign was up and running with money being spent but still no voucher redemption. I rang Google who informed me that they had changed the way the vouchers work and the extra £75 credit wouldn’t appear until the initial £25 had been exhausted. I was also informed that this could take anywhere up to 5 days after the initial credit had been spent to ‘kick in’!!

rant small Google Pay Per Click Farce This voucher redemption is an automated system so after a mini rant about the fact that the only reason I could see for it operating like this is that they are hoping that if you have a few days without ads appearing that you will put more credit on I realised that of course I’m talking to Google who are a law unto themselves and ultimately this little David didn’t have a cat in hells chance of hitting Goliath between the eyes so I bid them farewell.

I looked at the account again over the weekend and saw that there was 11p left from the original £25 and as the clicks cost a fair bit more than that in this particular industry there had been no activity for the last 2 days so I rang them again to explain that the £75 voucher hadn’t kicked in because there was still a balance of 11p on the account but this meant that the ad wasn’t even appearing!! The lady on the other end of the phone could see that indeed we were at a bit of an impass here but they can’t override the system (which I roughly translated to say wont) and that what I should do is put some more money into the account. I explained that this is not what I agreed with our client and therefore that wasn’t an option and also said that I was running this small campaign in the hope that they would see the benefit of PPC and therefore continue with it long term and put more money into the Google coffers!!

I was then told that my only option now is to add some more keywords to the campaign in order to try and get a click that will cost exactly 11p so that the balance will hit zero and the voucher will be redeemed and even after that it will take anywhere up to 5 days for it to appear and the camapign start running again by which time the client will be struggling to deliver before Christmas on any sales they make. I would value any ones thoughts on this. As you can see we don’t have comments open on this blog at the moment but if you would like to join me in a rant then please comment on this blog link on our facebook page